Call of the Jackal

Over the last couple of days in the forest we have seen some wonderful sights.  Firstly on Friday we bore witness to a plethora of Wild pigs.  A group of maybe 10-15 adults and a menagerie of upwards of 20 tiny foot long infants maybe closer to thirty of them.  All scurrying around and showing exquisite flocking behaviour.  If you can imaging those schools of sardines as they are attempting to evade and confuse a predator but obviously ever so slightly drier and with a few more bushes.

 

The wild boars are occasionally hunted and therefore like in many other parts of the globe have a natural weariness of humans and due to a great sense of smell tend to detect a field researcher at 50 paces and dash off through the forest before we ever knew about it.  All we usually see are the massive mounts of freshly turned earth where they have been foraging.  But on Friday with the damp still air and continual pitter-patter of rain drops desensitising the boars we were able to get rather close to these evasive beasts witness them in all their splendor. Check out the video below to see the boars in action.

 

Boars running through the forest

 

Today we were also privileged enough to spot another of the forests mysterious residents, a jackal.  I was searching for the monkeys this morning with our newest recruit, Chiara, and spotted a Canine-like from on the horizon.  Ok, i am giving myself a little too much credit here as i did say to Chiara ‘look another boar’ and then quickly adjusted my eyes and then grappled with my binoculars for a better viewing and up on the horizon 50m away was the grey and ginger pelt of a jackal.  I was lucky enough to get a brief glance at him before he scurried over the horizon. 

 

Chiara is a Masters’ student from Roehampton University.  She is here to complete field work for her Masters’ thesis and arrived last Thursday.  We have had many comings and goings over the last few weeks but more on that later.

 

Snow covered Artemis

 

We also experienced some extreme weather today from hail showers to sunshine to heavy snow showers we had the lot.  Not exactly what we are hoping for in March and a little concerning with the females all looking ready to deliver new bundles of joy any day now.  Hopefully they can hold on a few days longer and not have their precious infants born in to such cold and wet conditions.

Chris

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